Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), says the country’s health system may be overwhelmed if there’s a significant rise in COVID-19 infections as a result of the #EndSARS protests.
Mustapha said this during the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja on Monday.
For over one week, the #EndSARS protests have gained momentum across the country as the youth have taken to the streets to demand an end to police brutality.
Although Nigeria’s daily count of coronavirus infections has dropped in recent weeks, Mustapha called for caution, stating that there should be strict adherence to COVID-19 safety measures because people “are creating a potential opportunity for carrier vehicles that will convey this virus” back to their respective destinations.
“It will not be out of place for the PTF to, in consideration of the foregoing, remind all Nigerians that we are in the middle of a global pandemic. The virus remains very virulent, deadly and dangerous. It is an unseen enemy which thrives when people lower their guard,” he said.
“While we use this medium to join other voices of reason, to appeal to the youths to harken to the invitation to dialogue, we also emphasise that non-compliance with the NPIs are very risky adventures that must be avoided. We cannot afford to lose momentum and risk a second wave that might overwhelm our health systems.
“The PTF has on account of these developments, accelerated its plans for the National Testing Week and shall continue to monitor developments in all areas of the economy that have reopened and where new mass gathering events are taking place over the next three weeks for signs of spike in numbers.
“We urge every one who has been exposed unduly to large gathering to get tested and/or report any signs of the symptoms of COVID-19.”
He warned that COVID-19 in Nigeria is currently at the stage of community transmission and engaging in such mass gatherings will only reinforce the infection deeper into communities across the country.
“We must avoid a situation where we have a resurgence again. We are just about getting over the first wave in this country, and we are doing very well,” the SGF said.
Meanwhile, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as of October 18, 2020, over 60,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed, but more than 56,611 people have recovered.
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